The enemies of the New Right were compromise, gradualism, and acquiescence in the corrupt system. Partisan identification had little to do with their antagonisms. Nor did ideology. Buckley and Will were just as much targets of media criticism as CBS and the New York Times. Conservatives and Republicans with Ivy League degrees were sellouts, weak, epiphenomena of the social disease.
“There are conservatives whose game it is to quote English poetry and utter neo-Madisonian benedictions over the interests and institutions of establishment liberalism,” Kevin Phillips wrote in Commentary, clearly rebuking Will. “Then there are other conservatives—many I know—who have more in common with Andrew Jackson than with Edmund Burke. Their hope is to build cultural siege-cannon out of the populist steel of Idaho, Mississippi, and working-class Milwaukee, and then blast the Eastern liberal establishment to ideo-institutional smithereens.” In two sentences Phillips repudiated the cornerstone of Burkeanism—the protection of established order against radical challenges—in favor of upheaval, destruction, and power.
Today, when we think of Wallace and the fight against crime and busing, we think of racial antagonism and bias. But there was also something else going on. “Racism is a part of it, though somewhat muted in recent days,” wrote Kirkpatrick Sale in his 1975 book Power Shift. “But more potent still is a broad adversarianism, a being-against. Wallace has no real policies, plans, or platforms, and no one expects them of him; it is sufficient that he is agin and gathers unto him others who are agin, agin the blacks, the intellectuals, the bureaucrats, the students, the journalists, the liberals, the outsiders, the Communists, the changers, above all, agin the Yankee establishment.”
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Trump and the New Right
Interesting essay by Matthew Continetti traces the origins of Trumpism to the "New Right" of the 1970s: